Betrayal

September 1, 2016

It’s a terrible feeling when you realise just how much you’ve let yourself down. When you know how an earlier version of you (from younger days, when the world was at your feet and anything was possible) would despise what you have become, and would disown you, want nothing to do with you, would spit at you in the street.

I have reached that point, and I stand here ashamed.

We need to go back in time. Back to February 1984. I was 21 and just out of university. I was sharing a house with  some people who are still very close to me and will be extremely disappointed in what I have become; Trev Neal, my comedy partner, and Clare Eden, my manager. Both like family, and both (well, Trev at least; I can’t answer for Clare) about to disown me.

In February 1984 I was a recent graduate from Manchester University. Me and Trev had decided by then that we were going to be a double-act. Trev had another year to go at university, so I got myself a job at a college in Manchester;  Cornbrook Library, close to the bridge that Joy division stood on.

joy_division_kevin_cummins_bridge

Photo by Kevin Cummins

I had this photo, and many others like it, Blu-tacked to woodchip wallpapered walls.

I would cycle to the library every day. I was the only one who worked there. I opened it, I closed it. I built it! I stocked the shelves and labelled all the books on their spines according to the Dewey Decimal System. No one ever visited the library. It was a small room full of business books. I say no one; occasionally a member of staff would look in to say hello, which would lead to “Oh, you’re a comedian are you?”, which would lead to “tell us a joke then”, which would lead to “I’m not really that sort of a comedian?”

At least I was earning money. Every Friday, as a treat, I would cycle through town and stop off at a fancy outdoor beer at the bottom of Peter Street, next to The Gallery, and buy a bottle of whisky. I once bought a bottle of Pig’s Nose just for the name of it.

Pig's Nose whisky

Over the weekend it would get drunk by me and Trev and any passing friends. So, just me and Trev.

Then Monday the bike ride would begin again. 7am, sometimes in snow that Joy Division could have created.

And sometime that February I bought my first ever The Smiths single, What Difference Does it Make?

The chart for the 12th February 1984 was a crazy mix of music. Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Relax was no.1, and then Queen with Radio Ga Ga was at no.2.

As a 21 year old I didn’t know much. But I did know that Relax was good (even though I hadn’t a clue what it was about – the joys of pop music, and why we should never get too hung up about what the kids are listening to these days), and that Radio Ga Ga was shit.

Compare and contrast:

And everything I had to know, I heard it on my radio – Queen

Hang the blessed DJ, because the music that they constantly play, it says nothing to me about my life – The Smiths

The charts were at war, and we had to choose sides.

That week alone we saw these momentous battles:

The Style Council with their Ever Changing Moods taking on Joe Fagin and his Livin’ Alright!

Madness’ Michael Caine beating up Billy Joel’s Innocent Man. (with Madness it’s a full time job!)

And even Duran Duran’s one day only New Moon managing to kill off the Love theme from The Thorn Birds!

You had to know where you were with your music. And on that day, the 12th February 1984, I sided with Frankie, the Style Council, The Smiths, Madness, Swans Way, Big Country, and Echo and the Bunnymen.

I’ve always said that The Killing Moon is the greatest song ever written, Ian McCulloch

In the charts that week were also some of those songs that were tricky to a boy like me. I hadn’t yet figured out what I thought of Holiday, and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and 99 red Balloons. I think I was just too shy when it came to girls.

And so to the point. That I’ve been putting off. The betrayal by a 54 year old man of his 21 year old self.

I’ve been running a lot recently. it started when I decided to run 10k in May to raise money for The British Heart Foundation*. And I haven’t stopped. This last month, August, I have run the most I have ever run, managing 210km.

and I run to music.

I’ve been running to all my old faves… though Joy Division is a hard sell to my legs.

And I’ve been getting a bit fed up of the same old song. So I went and bought one of those 80s 12″ compilation CDs (A 12″ mix, in general, is perfect for measuring 1km of running).

And… oh, I’m so sorry Simon. I’m so sorry young me. I’ve let you down. No wonder the old you is running. Don’t stop. And pray that the 21 year old doesn’t take up running. Coming after you. catching up. Ripping those earphones out of your bloody ears…

All men have secrets and here is mine
So let it be known

On the 12th February 1984 this song was no.5 in the charts. And now I’m running to it.

 

(* If you’d like to donate to The British Heart Foundation I have a Just Giving page here.)

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ASK

April 6, 2015

It’s one of the great pop songs. And since hearing it, it’s one I’ve always tried to take to heart. Yes, shyness is nice and (more often than not) the antonym is hideous. So, it’s always worth an ask.  “Ask me, I won’t say no, how could I?”

Years back, last century, when I worked with Trev Neal on Saturday morning TV, we’d get to perform daft sketches with the stars of the day (Big Fun, Craig Machlachlanchlachlan, Nathan from Brother Beyond) and sometimes the stars of many days (Kylie, Cher, Mel Brooks). When it came to the Christmas and New Year shows there was always an attempt by our boss, Chris Bellinger, to up the ante, to aim high, to get the big guns in. And we would always ask for the top bananas. Year after year, for ten years, we’d hand in our wish list. Always the same names. And always, at the top of our list, the same two. We never did get Eddie Murphy or Gorbachev. But the point is, ASK! Always ask.

During one series of Live and Kicking we had a weekly feature called Every Loony Wins*. It was a daft phone-in quiz and we had a band as part of it, all played by kids from the audience. The leader of the band was called Des Tindeby (The Des Tindeby Band). And during their musical performance (miming to the very real Spike Jones and his City Slickers) a character would jump on stage (again one of the kids) as The Lone Yodeller (a Lone Ranger type, in a mask, yodelling like a loony). And each week we would end the segment by looking into the camera and saying; “Just who is the Lone Yodeller?”

When we reached the end of the thirty week run it was time for us to reveal just who was the Lone Yodeller. The obvious way to do this was for it to be one of the guests of the week. The only problem was (me and Trev being a picky pair) none of the guests were up to the task. (Anyone remember Little Danny Mangrove? or Nu Boxxx? Or Jennifer Bush?** No, I thought not.) And so we went to Chris… and we asked… we begged… please, please, can we get another guest. One worthy of the title of The Lone Yodeller? Chris wanted it to be Little Danny Mangrove. Little Danny, who was actually 6’2″, had just won Pop Zinger on ITV and his record company, BIGPUSH, were desperate for him to be the Lone Yodeller. They’d even recorded a special yodelling version of his current hit, A Pocketful of Promises, for him to mime to. We couldn’t have it though. We insisted; the Lone Yodeller had to be a bigger name. And then we asked Chris this; “if we can get a big name to play along will you let them be the Lone Yodeller?” This, of course, depended on who the big name was. We said to Chris; “if we can get Jonathan Ross to be the Lone Yodeller will you let him do it?” And Chris said yes.

Just one snag. We didn’t know Jonathan Ross. Not really. He’d been a guest before on the programme, but it’s not like we played tennis with him or anything. It’s not like we’d been to his house, or had his telephone number. All we had, on our side, was the ability to ASK.

It’s time to get to the races now so… we asked… we found a phone number for his production company and we asked… and they said “we’ll ask”… and we waited. And he said YES!

Jonathan turned up on the Saturday morning, played the Lone Yodeller and also brought along a friend of his who went on to declare “No! I’m the Lone Yodeller!” Our second Lone Yodeller wore a shoe hat, made from two shoes and a coat hanger. That was was Vic Reeves.

Ask.

We’ve been asking again recently. We are working on a new thing. A Sci-Fi audio comedy adventure with me, Trev, and Sophie Aldred. Some of you reading this will already know about Strangeness in Space. ***

And we’ve been asking people to help us out with it. We’ve given up on Eddie Murphy and Gorbachev, but we have asked two top people who have only gone ahead and said YES!

YES! Doon Mackichan has said yes to being our narrator, Bounty Flightingale.

YES! Rufus Hound has said yes to being Atrocious Knocious, an alien hoverbiker who’s never even heard of Evel knievel!

All from asking.

* based on Nick Berry’s hit Every Loser Wins. We had a minor battle with some BBC bigwigs to get them to accept the use of the word Loony. I’d grown up with it, reading the works of Spike Milligan. It was accepted in the end when dictionary definitions, on the whole, gave the word two meanings; one meaning (and our one) was silly, the other mad.

** Ok, I’ve made all these acts up. And the ongoing business with Little Danny Mangrove. Other than that, this story is true.

*** A final ask. Please help us get this made. We’ve loads of perks available if you join us: T-shirts, badges, scripts, signed photos and artwork, etc. We’re not far off our target now, but the more money we raise, the more episodes we can make. You can back us here.

Let’s start with a song:

Ok, I’m not going to walk 500 miles. Or 500 miles more. (Let’s be honest, we don’t even know if Craig and Charlie Reid ever did; they’ve only ever said they would. Saying’s one thing, doing is another).

But I will do the 10km London Memory Walk to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society.

Yes! You heard right (read right?) I am gonna walk… 6 miles. About.

Yes yes yes. I know. 10km. Walking too. I’m hardly Izzard, or Walliams, or Bishop, or any of those idiots who really put themselves out. But… running’s tiring! And swimming’s hard! And my Peak Flow is down to 400 at the mo when really it should be all the way up at 600. It’ll be a wheeze!

Earlier in the year, during the World Cup, I organised a Tweepstake to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society (you can find out about that elsewhere on my blog- if you wish). The generosity of the folk who took part was astonishing. A handful of folk donated almost £1500 to the charity. Some of them are donating again, now, sponsoring me on the walk. Part of the reason (beyond the obvious reason of kindness and generosity) is to help me reach my target of £1966. We are now 84% of the way there; just under £300 to go.

And now, here’s my most unusual plea: Please tweepstakers, please don’t donate anymore. You have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

But… to the people reading this now who haven’t donated as yet, here is my simple plea: Please sponsor me 30p a km. Please donate £3 to Alzheimer’s Society. If all the people reading this now, who haven’t already donated, donate just £3 we will reach the target by the end of today.

Please click on this link to donate now.

Here’s something: Craig and Charlie Reid, Scottish, The Proclaimers. William and Jim Reid, Scottish, The Jesus and Mary Chain. Four brothers? Two singing about walking, the other two singing about tripping? That’s some sibling rivalry.

After a two day rest, here we go! Does that make me sound like a football type person? I hope so! Today the Quarter Finals start. The end is in sight folks. Four matches, then two, then one, then that’s that! (Not forgetting the daft game in between for third place; a sad match that really no one cares about except me; I’ll do my best).

Two matches today. First up:

FRANCE (@Zoleipar)  v GERMANY (@DarrenK37)

5pm. BBC. Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janiero. So, Joachim Low, the German coach, says all of his team have the flu. Is this a tactic? I’d like to say Didier Deschamps, the French coach, has come back and said all of his team have runny bottoms. But he hasn’t. Yet.

How to call this one, the clash of the European heavyweights? It’s going to be klose. Out of 26 meetings France have won 11 times, Germany 8, and 6 draws. But, here’s the thing; @DarrenK37 has not only donated a fortune to Alzheimer’s Society, he has also drank the national drink of his team (Weissbier und Riesling) throughout the tournament (even on days when there were no matches). His dedication to the cause is exemplary.

As for @Zoleipar, my wife, well… she’s been drinking Sauvignon Blanc… from New Zealand! I don’t even think she has donated yet! But then she did do the John Barnes rap from World In motion. It’s a start.

Darren’s dedication deserves rewarding. My prediction:

 

France 1 Germany 2

 

BRAZIL (@Mojorainbw)  v COLOMBIA (@SpiderMonkey987)

9pm ITV. Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza. From a European battle to the battle of two of the biggest South American teams. I have no clue! I mean, Brazil are the host nation; who wants them out? And yet Colombia have Burt Bacharach managing them:

Jose Pekerman says a little prayer

I can’t predict it. Penalties, that’s all I’m saying. Penalties and the most dramatic shoot-out so far. God give them strength. Talking of which, let’s end on a song as Jose Pekerman joins his good friend Elvis Costello.

Here we go, into the Second Round. No groups, no second chances. Whatever happens, whether there is extra time or penalties, two team will progress today and two will go home. And it’s a South American day today, all teams playing coming from the host continent. Let’s take a look at the matches:

BRAZIL (@Mojorainbw) v CHILE (@dusted1969)

5pm. BBC. Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte. The host nation face Chile. Brazil have never lost to Chile at home in 26 meetings over 95 years. Maybe it’s time for a change. Or not. I’m hedging my bets but going to say:

Brazil 2 Chile 2 (after extra time it will still be 2-2. It will go to penalties. Brazil will then win.)

 

COLOMBIA (@SpiderMonkey987) v URUGUAY (@BottyB)

9pm. ITV. Estadio do Maracana, Rio De Janeiro. These two teams have only met once before in the World Cup and that was way back in 1962. Uruguay won 2-1. It’s time for Colombia to get revenge. Uruguay are without Suarez… he bit someone! Even know, days later, that seems so bizarre. Due to an act of idiocy, and also due to his inability to see anything wrong in what he did, the football gods will punish his team. My prediction:

Colombia 3 Uruguay 1

And now, a little late in the day,  here’s Klowz und Betti. Who the hell are they I hear no one other than me asking. It’s a good question. Last Eurovision they invaded our flat and took over for the evening. I really hoped I’d seen the back of them. But no! The reprobates turned up the other night demanding to sing (Sing? Mime? Who knows?) along to World In Motion by New Order.

Now, see, this was meant to be my wife, Zoe. She promised to do the John Barnes rap bit as soon as we hit the 50% mark of our £1996 target for Alzheimer’s Society for #tweepstake2014. But Klowz und Betti stormed in, took over, and insisted they would do it. They banished us from the flat, not even allowing us to hold the camera. And so it is a simple, amateurish affair; a fixed camera and the two of them doing their thing. What the heck, here it is.

If you like it, and you have a pound or two to spare for Alzheimer’s Society, please do donate here.

Enjoy the football. Good luck!

Oh dear! Oh no! Where to begin? Well, with a big “COME ON ITALY!” Yes, @pettitsa, we need your team to do the job for us. Two wins from Italy – one today, the next next Tuesday – and 27 goals from England in their match against Costa Rica (and it has to be 27 goals where we win, a 27-27 draw will not do) and England will still qualify for the next round where we get knocked out. Come on ragazzi (Italian for ‘lads’, possibly) we know you can do it.

And if Italy win, and madman Balotelli scores, he has demanded a kiss from the Queen. It’s your duty Ma’am!

I’m getting ahead of myself. A recap of all yesterday’s games, not just that one:

Colombia 2 Ivory Coast 1

Colombia are through to the knockout stages! Well done @SpiderMonkey987. Ivory Coast are on 3 points and are looking good, so @jayscarblue can be hopeful. This was an exciting and free-flowing match, including synchronised goal celebrations from the Colombian team.

colombia goal

Uruguay 2 England 1

Oh no! More a case of England V Suarez. He scored both goals just to make Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard feel particularly sick. Sicker than John Parrot. On the plus side, Rooney scored. That’s it. A begrudging well done to @BottyB and a sorry to @Christian_N_Orr.

Japan 0 Greece 0

I didn’t stay up for this. A point each for @Superblouse and @gingerdisco99. You’re tournament isn’t quite over yet!

 

TODAY’S PREVIEWS AND PREDICTIONS

Firstly, we must have seen all the lovely stadiums by now, so I’m going to stop listing their capacities. It takes me too long to look up and all my charts say different numbers. Let’s just assume they all hold lots and lots, ok?

ITALY (@pettittsa)  v COSTA RICA (@jasonpettigrove)

5pm. BBC. Arena Pernambuco in Recife. Italy have to win this. For England! Balotelli will do the job. We need Italy to win, but not by too much (goal difference needs to be in England’s favour). It’s going to be tense. My (optimistic) prediction:

Italy 1 Costa Rica 0

 

SWITZERLAND (@realandrewgreen)  v FRANCE (@Zoleipar)

8pm. ITV. Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador. I’ll try not to be biased, but it’s @realandrewgreen against my wife! Both teams have 3 points. Oh, let’s go for a draw. My prediction:

Switzerland 7 France 7

 

HONDURAS (@wristwatch42)  v ECUADOR (@wasaunders)

11pm. ITV. Arena da Baixada in Curitiba. The two losers so far from the same group as Switzerland and France. Ecuador lost to Switzerland in injury time, whereas Honduras were beaten 3-0 by France. My prediction:

Honduras 0 Ecuador 4

I’ll find something fun to end on in a minute. But first a very big thank you to those of you who have donated time and time again to Alzheimer’s Society. I know a lot of you (myself and my wife included) have been affected by this horrible illness that takes away all we know of our loved ones in an almost unbearable manner. And I know some of you are going through bad times now. And yet you’re keeping your spirits up and taking part in the Tweepstake. And it’s good to see that a new pledge has been made by the government to cure dementia by 2025, with David Cameron calling Dementia one of the “greatest enemies of humanity”. That’s a long way off, but it’s something. And along the way Alzheimer’s Society is there helping, caring, and doing what it can for the quality of life of those who are affected.

Some of you have donated more than once. Some of you have come up with novel ways of donating; buying a ‘pint’, paying for goals scored and matches won, even getting some of the big name players to donate (‘Shatov’ from Russia gave £2!) Messages have been left in the languages of the nations you are representing in the sweepstake. Your imagination and fun is making the whole experience fantastic.

And for those of you who have been incredibly generous, I’m not going to ask for more. You’ve all done your bit. But if you can, please do pass on the message. Perhaps you know of friends or family who would like to help out. Just £2 from one ‘player’ in each team would raise another £64!

If you know of anyone who would like to donate, please point them in the direction of my Just Giving page here. Yesterday we raised another £78 bringing the total so far up to £878 and reaching 44% of the presposterous target of £1966. Thank you all very very much.

Back to the football. We need Italy to help us out tonight. Here’s negramaro singing their Muse-like hearts out for the ragazzi.

A quick recap about last night. The opening ceremony saw some children and adults recreate a deleted scene from a Lord Of The Rings film and then three people came on (possibly Dawn, although Tony Orlando had been replaced by a Huey from the Fun Lovin’ Criminals lookalike wearing children’s trousers). they sang, but nobody could hear. There were echoes but the echoes echoed off the echoes. Glenn Hoddle’s head, unable to bear the frequency, looked larger than usual. And then the football began.

Brazil (@Mojorainbw) beat Croatia (@LadyLisaCusack) 3-1. Heck, I’m no expert, but it could have been 2-2. Croatia had a goal disallowed and I’m not sure why, and Brazil were given a penalty because some air knocked one of their players over. That’s how football goes.

Lady Lisa graciously passed on her congratulations to “Mr Mojo” only to learn that Mr Mojo is a Miss. Early on, when I set the Tweepstake up, some female members worried that they would be the only ones. There are lots of women in this tweepstake folks, all with crazy Twitter names that give no clue to sexual identity (That sounds sinister. It’s not meant to.) At some point I’ll work it all out but I think it will be in the region of 50/50.

So, onto tonight’s games. And I’m out tonight so don’t expect some bloody ongoing match commentary. Last night was a one-off where, it being the first match, I most likely watched 40% of it. (Me and Zoe took a few minutes out to watch the video of Cat Among The Pigeons by Bros… just because I wanted to use the phrase and couldn’t remember if it was ‘among’ or ‘amongst’. Annoyingly, Bros sing both; unable to make up their minds, or better than me at understanding the nuanced difference between the two choices. oh, look! Here it is. I wouldn’t watch it if I were you).

This is better:

Yes… tonight’s games.

At 5pm Mexico (@bluebox99) take on Cameroon (@Arfablue). It’s on ITV, it’s being played in Natal at the new Estadio Das Dunas (capacity 42,086 or 38,958 depending on whether you believe The Mirror or The Observer). It’ll be a swift and exciting game to watch, full of daring and flair. Mexico will win 3-2.

At 8pm Spain (@NiicNok) take on Holland (@Braggovic). It’s on BBC1, it’s being played in Salvador at the Arena Fonte Nova (apparently built in 1951, but it doesn’t look it- my chart may lie. Capacity, 51,708 or 48,747… what gives!?) This game will be close and tight and unpleasant to watch. I predict 1-1.

The late shift starts at 11pm. Chile (@dusted1969) take on Australia (@Zwanzig20). It’s on ITV. It’s being played in Cuiaba in the newly constructed Arena Pantanal (capacity somewhere between 39,000 and 42,000). This game will be funny and floodlit. Chile will win 4-1.

That’s the analysis out of the way. Time to end on a fun video.

Oh, and please please please, if you are reading this and would like to support Alzheimer’s Society and wouldn’t mind donating a pound or two to keep my spirits up during the month long #tweepstake2014, please give a little here. Thank you.

Here’s a Mexican thing. It’s from the Olympics, Mexico ’68. Raquel Welch is in it. It could possibly be the weirdest thing you’ll ever see.

 

 

The World Cup starts tonight, and everyone everywhere is excited. Even those who hate football. Or cups. Or the world.

Ok. There may be a few who are genuinely not excited. But even then, they are excited. They just don’t know it yet. The misery guts.

For those of you who don’t what the World Cup is, it’s a big load of football matches where everyone from everywhere plays each other. For a month! And at the end of it, there’s a winner. It’s that simple. And if you’re thinking… “Well, I don’t see Tuvalu in there, so it’s not everyone!”… good point!… Tuvalu is a country, but it’s also a small island. A very small island. They’ve tried football, but every time the ball goes out of play it goes into the sea (in 1983 it became such a problem the national team even adopted The Love Cats by The Cure as their theme tune).

That stuff about Tuvalu may not be true. They could just be shit at football, but that’s not nice to say, is it.

Look. Don’t expect informed analysis from me, ok? Leave me alone, I’m not bloody FIFA (not that FIFA is a person. Or a corrupt organisation. It’s not me who’s likened it to a Mafia family… though Sepp Blatter does have hamster cheeks like Marlon Brando).

Look, to clear up any doubt, I’m sure FIFA’s fine. Hey, what do I know?

On to important things. Alongside The World Cup, I’ve set up a #tweepstake2014. 32 people on Twitter are taking part, all representing one of the 32 countries that have made it to the final. And they’ve all very kindly donated money to Alzheimer’s Society for the dubious honour of taking part. Thing is, I’ve set myself the preposterous target of £1966 (something footbally happened way back then). I’m 38% there with donations of £762, but if you are enjoying my football ramblings and can spare a pound or two I would love you to donate here. That’s the end of the begging, I promise. For today. Well, for now.

All those in the Tweepstake are guaranteed a prize. And not just some rubbish. I am in the process now of begging the great and the good to donate. And guess what? Because they are great and because they are good, they are giving me things! And I promise I will not keep them for myself. Soon I will revel some of those prizes, but for now, let’s concentrate on what the experts call “footie”.

The tournament starts tonight with the host nation, Brazil, taking on Croatia. In #Tweepstake2014 terms that’s @Mojorainbw against @LadyLisaCusack. And here’s my prediction: The World Cup always starts off slowly; play is cautious and goals don’t come easy. 7-3 to Brazil.

 

Just as Turkey blocks Twitter and YouTube, the State of Kate Bush has ordered a block on all online booking ticket agencies. Those now wanting tickets for her first live gigs in 78 years will have to walk to a participating venue and buy them. Just buy them, Tommy Cooper style. There’ll be a price on the ticket, you hand over a matching amount of money, and the shopkeeper gives you the ticket. Done. Enjoy the gig.

If only.

It’s not like that. Not now. But was it ever?

Now, you have to be up at 9.30 in the morning (Ha! Hard luck Peter Stringfellow! No tickets for you!) Up at 9.30 and then there’s a 15 minute window (hopefully Cathy gets her tickets) before they’re all gone.

I joined in the Bush Rush, although it’s not really my kind of thing (I only like Sparks). I did it for my wife. She likes Kate Bush (not so keen on Sparks).

I’m there, 9.30, ready to go! The only tickets that seem to be available cost £9,567. They’re for the hospitality package (which does, admittedly, throw in a “bamboo cone of chocolate & caramel dipped berries”). Oh, and for all my lies, that last bit is true.

To get to the point, I do, within 15 minutes, find two possible tickets for me and Zoe. They’re the only ones I can find and they are in the circle. They are £135 each.

Hmmm. That’s a lot… but, in the long run, we’re only going to die. So what the hell!

Having made a decision it’s a race against time. A clock ticks away onscreen. I have about seven minutes. I have to type in one of those nonsense words that proves I am human. It was something like R1PUoFf. It’s difficult to know; it was all scratchy and slanted like a Tin Machine lyric.

Somewhere in the scheme of things I had 4 minutes, then 3…  and in the mad scrabble to give our summer holiday away I typed and tapped and bought the two dearest tickets I’ve ever bought in my life.

But I’m happy. We want to go and we will have a great night out.

But why did two tickets at £135 each come to a grand total of £303.50?

Ah! “Service and delivery charge- £2.50”. Not bad! Service and delivery for only £2.50.

Oh! And “2 Booking Fee x £10.50”. I wonder what the distinction is between a service charge and a booking fee? And why two booking fees coming to £21 for what is the same booking?

Never mind. I guess this is how things are done these days. And we will have a great night out.

But wait! That still only comes to £293.50.

WHAAAAATTTTTT!!!!! “Missed Event Insurance: £10.00”

What? Seriously, what? I didn’t ask for this!

Well, it seems I did. Eventim’s policy is to automatically include this unless you choose to untick the box. Something I overlooked in my race against the, by then, 2 minute countdown.

I’ve complained and Eventim have pointed me to a webpage where I can print out a form, fill it in, and apply by post to the insurance company for a refund. I shouldn’t have to do this.

Here’s my complaint. it’s not a complaint about ticket prices, or even unseemly booking fees. It’s a complaint about £10. £10 and the way Eventim hoodwink us into buying unwanted insurance policies… for gigs!? Just take a moment to get to grips with this insane proposal: an insurance policy for a gig.

The honest way to do business is to say “tick if you want it” not “untick if you don’t”.

In the scheme of things it is not a lot of money. Probably the cost of a bamboo cone of chocolate & caramel dipped berries. But I’m going to go all Point Blank on this one. All Parker and Porter.

I guess I’d get into trouble if I called Eventim crooks. But it reminds me of the man in the Post Office the other day who when asked for 5 first class stamps by an old lady told her “we sell them in books of six”. She stood her ground and got a strip of 5 from the big book. But it was clear the post office man wanted her to think they were only available in units of 6. And so I will call him immoral, and I will call Eventim immoral.

Not Kate. This, undoubtedly, has nothing to do with her. Me and Zoe are going to have a great night out.

 

 

Following on from yesterday’s no. 6, Eddie Izzard, we move straight on to no.5. And, to quote Winston The Wolf from Pulp Fiction, “If I’m curt with you it’s because time is a factor”.

See, the thing is, I’ve been out all day and now I have to eat and then get to my choir’s social, where karaoke is king, and that starts at eight.

So… Number 5.

Sean Lock

Sean Lock- Purple Van Man

It’s Sean Lock! We hope. The tricky thing is to try and figure out what letter his head is. But since his name is actually Sean Lock I’m going to plump for an ‘O’. His head is a big ‘O’. He’s the Roy Orbison of comedy.

He’s a two 15 certificate comedian man, making him ideal for any thirty year olds.

He may have his hands down his pants.

Talking of pants, his cover with its swirly fonts makes me think a little of this:

Bob corner cardigan

purple haze, fa la la la la

Despite his down-turned mouth and the description of him as “punchy”, I doubt he is a violent man. Unlike Eddie Izzard’s DVD, he is not selling an Ultraviolent version of his act.

He is also “inventive, superb… undeniably brilliant.”

Well… do you dare deny it? I thought not. You can’t. It’s undeniable.

If you’re wondering what Sean’s Purple Van looks like, here’s a pic:

purple van

Sean’s Purple Van

I am off to do my yearly sing of First Of The Gang To Die and Manchester. Bye.

Tomorrow, number 4.

Oh, and if you’ve never seen this video, give it a watch. It’s “punchy, inventive, superb… and undeniably brilliant.”